Two years ago, Republicans in the House of Representatives commissioned a House Intelligence Committee investigation into the 2012 attack on an American consulate in Benghazi. While failures of security were acknowledged by the administration, the investigation was one of many formed with the intent to prove some conspiracy theories about the incident, including a supposed high-ranking order for the CIA to stand down in the midst of the attack.
But the latest report, released Friday, does little to back up Republicans’ suspicion of negligence, and it finds no intelligence failure on the part of the CIA.
The investigative report is authored on the right by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and the left by Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD). Rogers previewed the report during a Fox News this September when he smacked down one of the leading right-wing theories, that the State Department issued a stand-down order before the attack. “It was the commander on the ground making the decision,” Rogers explained at the time. “I think it took 23 minutes before they all, including that commander, by the way, got in a car and went over and rescued those individuals.”
The report also disproves other conspiracy theories about that tragic night, including the idea that officials rejected a proposal to rescue the Americans trapped in the under-attack consulate, and that those in the consulate were covertly dealing arms to Syrians from Libya.
This investigation is one of eight total into the attack. Collectively, the investigations have been panned on the left as “partisan” and “an embarrassment,” particularly because of the amount of money spent on them — more than what’s allotted for standing Congressional issues like the budget or ethics — and because Republicans have raised money off of the tragedy and subsequent investigation. Even family of one of those killed in the attacks came forward to denounce the repeated Benghazi investigations.
Meanwhile, the city that’s leant its name to the incident — Benghazi, Libya — has been largely ignored by Congress. Libya lost 30,000 people to the bloody civil war there three years ago, and is now confronting insurgencies from terror groups. Last month, 50 were killed in Benghazi during what’s presumed to be a government-backed attempt to tamp down islamist militias there. The Iraqi-based terror group ISIS is also apparently making “inroads” there as well. Some middle eastern governments, including Egypt and Sudan, have come to the aid of some political groups working in the war-torn nation. The United States, for its part, has weighed sanctions, but been relatively quiet on the issue.